Young man dies of undetermined causes
Remembered by friends, co-workers as a good friend

By DIMITRA LAVRAKAS
Michael Todd Goss, 27, was pronounced dead May 7 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., nearly two days after he was found collapsed on a city street.
The cause of death is identified as a cerebral aneurysm in the obituary in his town newspaper in Danville, Va. However, the medical examiner’s office in Seattle said the cause has not been determined until the results of a toxicology report are received in four to six weeks.
Goss is remembered by fellow employees and friends at the Westmark Hotel, where he was executive housekeeper, as a kind person and a good worker.
Joe Warchuck, food and beverage manager for Westmark, and girlfriend Jessi May, who also works at the Westmark, said they placed flowers at the corner of Seventh and Alaska where Goss was found the evening of May 5.
Dorothy Brady said she heard moaning outside about 10:30 p.m. and looked out her window facing south on Seventh Avenue to see Goss lying on the grass median across the intersection.
“There was an open knife on the ground, a folding Gerber knife with the blade half-way open,” said Brady. “So I went over to see if there was blood (on it) and if we needed to look for a wound.
“When I knelt down beside him, he had a severe convulsion, and I told Scott to call 911. I thought he was an epileptic.”
Her son, Scott Lesh was working in the computer when he heard his mother call, and he and Amanda Delaplain went outside to help.
“I ran back inside to call 911, then I came back outside and got Ken Nalan (a neighbor who is a firefighter),” said Lesh.
While waiting for Nalan, Lesh used what he’d learned at a recent CPR class and rolled Goss onto his side because Goss was choking.
Natasha Nalan and Brady covered Goss with a blanket while waiting for the Emergency Medical Services crew to arrive.
Goss was taken to the Skagway Medical Clinic and then medivaced to Juneau’s Bartlett Hospital and then on to Seattle. May accompanied Goss all the way to Seattle.
“What I heard was the crew (Skagway Volunteer Fire Department EMS) did an exceptional job keeping him alive all the way down to Juneau,” said May. “It was quite impressive. They were able to bring him back four times before he made it to Juneau.”
May remembered Goss as a person with a good heart.
“He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in my entire life,” said May. “If you ever had a problem, you could go to him and he’d make your problem his.”
Warchuck said that Goss spent the majority of the year in Skagway and considered it his home, having worked for the hotel for the past three years. He was a major NASCAR fan, especially of Dale Earnhart, Jr., and loved the water and fishing – although he wasn’t a very good fisherman, Warchuck said.
“He loved the water,” said May. “He said if he had a house on a lake, he’d be happy.”
Goss also loved the dog he had to give away.
“Make sure you say he loved his dog,” May said. “He bought a dog from a breeder and it was evident it was sick. He spent hundreds of dollars getting it well. The breeder sent him another dog, and said to send the other one back. But he (Goss) knew he would kill it, so he found it a home.”
Goss’ family will come to Skagway in June with his ashes, Warchuck said
“We’ll scatter the ashes everywhere Mikie loved to be,” said Warchuck – Upper Lake, Lower Lake, Yakutania Point.”
“I think we were all so lucky to get to know him as a friend,” said May.
A fund-raiser is planned with proceeds to go to a state-sponsored, drug awareness program.

OBITUARY

Michael Todd Goss
1975-2002
DANVILLE, Va. - Michael Todd Goss, 27, died May 7 at the University of Washington Medical Center of cerebral aneurysm.
Born Feb. 3, 1975, in Eden, N.C., he was a son of Donald Lee Goss, who predeceased him, and Brenda Connock Goss, who survives.
He attended Danville Public Schools and was a graduate of Chatham High School and Danville Community College. He was a member of Woodberry Hills Baptist Church and was employed by Westmark Hotels, Division of Holland American Cruise Line in Skagway, Alaska.
Survivors, in addition to his mother in Danville, Va., include one sister, Susan Carol Goss of Danville, Va.; two brothers, Christopher Lee Goss of Danville, Va. and Donald Lee Goss Jr. of McKinney, Texas; and his maternal grandparents, William B. Connock and Helen Lundie Connock, of Danville, Va.
A funeral was held May 11 at Townes Memorial Chapel in Danville.